2013
07.01

Sunday 30 June.

Ate a hearty breakfast in the morning, admired Melody’s 18th century inn and lush garden sloping down to the river where a family of swans were posing for photos.

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Melody identified the bush with large white flowers which we have seen flowering prolifically along the way, as elderflower. She put some drops of her homemade cordial in my water bottle.

Rode off into a cool morning towards Stratford-upon-Avon. Lovely riding again, it became more hilly, but not too hard, the sun came out and the wind was behind us.

Halfway mark was the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water. It nestled on either side of the tiny, shallow and very clear Wind rush river. The Brits were out in their hundreds along the grassy banks, basking in what they thought was a hot day.

We had good meal and an ale at the pub and strolled along admiring the ancient little stone bridges and wonderful cottages and gardens.

Back on the bikes and we were glad our route took us down leafy little country lanes. The countryside gradually changed from large fields (the wheat often had red poppies flowering in it) to smaller fields and more woodlands. Still hilly, but the wonderful scenery drew us on. Just love these Cotswold villages with their ancient stone cottages, climbing roses all over them and gorgeous gardens.

Wildlife so far: heard a cuckoo, saw several pheasants running along the road, saw a squirrel, and, sadly,several dead badgers.

Found Stratford rail trail and our way to the YHA at Alverston, by 6.30. Distance 83.65 k. The YHA was in a huge converted Georgian mansion, and, even better, had a bar and a restaurant. Ate, showered and slept!

Love the long days, light until 9.30, but morning is too early. I am waking up at 6 or 6.30.

Jane

This was another longer than anticipated day. Spectacular countryside. Warm weather. Navigation is not easy.

P

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